Sign in
Download Opera News App



ATM Charges Slash: Christmas or Greek gift from CBN?

It sounded like a well timed Christmas gift from the CBN when it released a statement via its twitter handle slashing the charges on ATM withdrawal from N65 to N35 after three withdrawals on another Bank’s ATM in a month. Nigerians reacted accordingly.

More and more it seems the Nigerian Central Bank is a political tool in the hands of the Government per time. While this is expected to an extent in terms of providing fiscal and monetary oversight for the government of the day, it becomes disheartening when the Central Bank is seen to play games of “trickery” on the citizens whom it is supposed to protect from economic exploitation.

If the antecedents of the CBN is anything to go by then Nigerians should celebrate this reduced charges with caution. Two incidents readily come to mind:

Firstly, in the Revised Guide to Bank Charges (RGBC) of 1 April 2013, the CBN put out a framework to systematically reduce COT (Commission on Transaction) charged by Deposit Money Banks to zero in 2016. The guides’ phase out plan was applauded by all and became a bane to Banks in generation of profits.

Things went according to plan, barring cases of non implementation of some banks who were mandated by the House of Rep to duly refund charges that were debited customers after the planned date of implementation despite having been warned 3years in advance.

Notwithstanding, the Banks recovered their profit heading by rewording the same charges as “maintenance fee” for current account holders and doubling the cost of their cheque books. This part of the story was muted, as the charges crept back in and became a norm.

For a second antecedent, one needs look no further than this same issue of ATM withdrawal charges. It will be recalled that a few years ago the CBN canceled these charges altogether. It was duly celebrated and regretted by the populace and the DMBs respectively. The DMBs went back to their drawing board and fashioned another heading for charges- card maintenance fee. 

DMBs began to charge their customers an annual maintenance fee of at least N1,000 for maintaining a card that was in the customer’s possession while, in some cases, producing new cards without consent of the customers. They said it was a drive for a cashless society, with some banks “erroneously” charging unsuspecting customers these fees every month.

Subsequently the withdrawal charges were quietly replaced, and the maintenance fees did not go away in some banks. A double win for our flamboyant DMBs.

As it stands, a N35 reduction is a smart move by the CBN to encourage a cashless drive riddled with hidden charges and failed/delayed implementation. One waits to see what the CBN will approve as a palliative for DMBs to maintain their profitable outlooks. After-all, we pride ourselves on how profitable our banks are even in the face of our Nation’s ailing economy. An unheard of anomaly.

Only time will tell the nature of this gift.

Author’s notes: how do you think the review of charges will impact the economy? 

Follow this handle for more economic and business insights.

Content created and supplied by: Zolonye (via Opera News )

Deposit Nigerian Central Bank Nigerians RGBC


Load app to read more comments